(English) "Analysis of Adana Irrigation Infrastructure, Irrigation Problems and Solutions" (Turkish) :"Adana Tarımsal Sulama Sistemlerinin Analizi Sulamanın Sorunları ve Çözüm Önerileri"

Place: turkey, Europe
Sustainable management of natural resources Sustainable management of natural resources
Total Budget: € 47.588,50 | Period: From December 2012 To December 2013


Sulam-A Project was funded by the Çukurova Development Agency under the financial support programme that aims to provide financial support for strategic research, planning and feasibility studies targeted to make contribution to regional development and improve the implementation capacity of regional progress and plans.
Sulam-A Project has brought together 3 partners from different areas. Directorate of Agricultural Production Enterprise Agricultural Extension and In-Service Training Center (Adana TAYEM) as coordinator, Adana Provincial Directorate of Food Agriculture and Livestock along with South Yüreğir Water User Association as partners.

The project contributed to increase the awareness for competitiveness power of region and the activities necessary to take urgent precautions in order to prevent threats and risks for region’s sustainability with regard to food, water and environment. Sulam-A determined priority actions and innovative tools for water saving in the Çukurova region.


Directorate Of Agricultural Production Enterprise, Agricultural Extension and In-Service Training Center - Turkey

Lead applicant

Directorate of Agricultural Production Enterprise, Agricultural Extension and In-Service Training Center (Adana TAYEM) was established in 1911 as an Agricultural High School. With the closure of Agricultural High School, its name was replaced with the Personnel Training Center under the authority of "Ministry of Agriculture”. Our institution has been performing agricultural training and extension since 1911 under different names. The Institute provides trainings to engineers and farmers. Each year, approximately 750 engineers-tecnicians and more than 250 farmers are given these training courses. The duties of Adana TAYEM are: - To open training courses addressing to sustainable agriculture, irrigated agriculture and irrigation, agricultural mechanization and personnel development. - Preparation, organization, coordination and implementation of training programs and projects accordance with the national and international needs and demands of public and private sectors, professional organizations, non-governmental organizations. - To make practical work for students coming from Agricultural colleges and other education and training institutions (internship program). - Performing the extension activities so as to convey the results of the research into the practice, and organization joint programs with Provincial Directorates. - Improvement of appropriate methods and technology for efficient use of water in agriculture.

Adana Provincial Directorate of Food, Agriculture and Livestock - Turkey

Initiative partner

Government of Adana Directorate of Food, Agriculture and Livestock is responsible for central administration of all aspects of agricultural production and rural development and it can be categorized into seven (7) different entities viz . Each of department has a different tasks as agriculture land evaluation, plant production and healthy, livestock production and healhty, rural development, safe food, data of agriculture and coordination etc. Our mission is, - to ensure the sustainable use of agricultural and ecological resources - to increase o standart of living in rural areas, - to ensure access to safe food and high-quality agricultural products

South Yüreğir Water User Association - Turkey

Initiative partner

South Yüreğir water user association is the biggest water user association in Adana with personnel, equipment resources, budget and service and has the largest irrigation area of Turkey. It was the partner of the ınternational project QUALIWAT in Adana conducted between 2006-2010.

The main factors driving the water reform agenda in Adana are: Food security, Climate variability and change, Population growth, Healthy irrigation infrastructure, Sustainability, Integrated urban water management. These factors necessitates water resources development and management to supply irrigation and services on a sustainable basis. Today’s irrigation developments in Adana were not designed and managed suitable for the region; Traditional problems are still occurring: rising water tables; soil salinisation; contamination of waterways; salt water intrusion; inefficiency in irrigation. It is necessary to improve the design and management of new and existing irrigation developments. There is a need to promote evolving knowledge to support the adoption of alternative designs and management practices. The Sulam-A initiative meets these needs by integrating and delivering the Management and planning guidelines to guide the development of site specific plans and management strategies.

The water used for irrigation in Turkey is 30 billion m3 and 6.4% of it is used in Adana. Proportion of irrigated land in the region is 55%. In this regard, both in their region and in Turkey remains one of the leading provinces. But Irrigation efficiency is only 43%. Therefore, the region's environment, water and food security is threatened and does not seem to be sustainable. Sulam-A project is an integrated long-term strategy as a key for the realization of infrastructure investments foreseen in the next decade and beyond to guide future infrastructure priorities and making decisions.

Sulam-A developed;

-long-term vision for irrigation infrastructure

-approach for the management of Adana agricultural water resources

-transformational change and management of irrigation infrastructure

-infrastructure decisions based on valid evidence and analysis on a sustainable basis

-The Project Platform (Sulam-A platform) was established to improve the results of a project in political level.

Project meeting Closing ceremony with all the stakeholders, partners and local authorities
Project workshop Project working groups with stakeholders discussing on irrigation problems
Sulam-A Platform Sulam-A (irrigation in Adana) platform web site is used to promote the platform, make announcement and inform stakeholders

Çukurova is one of the most important plain on the world with 40 m soil depth. It has the widest product range in the country's most productive farmland. 2-3 products can be grown a year. Çukurova characterized by the Mediterranean ecosystem. 10% of the agricultural proceeds of Turkey is provided from our region and 5% from Adana. In our region, shortage of irrigation water in agricultural areas has occurred as a result of global warming effects. Thus, environment and food security are also under risk. Adana irrigation infrastructure is quite old and has been designed in accordance with surface irrigation methods. Culturally, farmers don't have a conscious irrigation culture. Therefore, shortage of irrigation water in agricultural areas in the region need to be addressed and eliminated. Sulam-A project aimed to determine the problems faced with in the irrigation areas and needs and aimed to create a road map by determining the potential investment areas for development of the sector.

water losses Water distribution losses are very high in Adana. inadequate infrastructure leads to losses (evaporations from the open water surface, leaks in connections, losses in the broken places etc. vb.). Therefore, annual repair and maintenance costs are quite high.


Two workshops successfully held in Adana.

A seminar held as part of the project dissemination activities
Questionaire with 253 farmers in order to determine judgmental attitudes and behaviors,
47 institutions interviewed in order to analyse problems and needs,
One book published (1000 pieces) and sent to all stakeholders (see below)
118 Survey to agricultural areas in districts.
A Sulam-A platform has been established to disseminate the results of a project in political level (see above)


Project publication Project publication that project results have been announced. The publication has been sent to all stakeholders
Questionaire Project experts making questinaire with farmers in order to determine judge
Survey works Project expert visiting the farmers during the current situation analysis
seminar A seminar held as part of the project dissemination activities
Sulam_A Project Workshop Presentation of the project Sulam_A

Project partners/direct beneficiaries:

  • Directorate of Agricultural Production Enterprise, Agricultural Extension and In-Service Training Center
  • Adana Provincial Directorate of Food, Agriculture and Livestock
  • South Yüreğir Water User Association

Main beneficiaries and Target groups of the project: 

  • People, groups and institutions giving direction the agriculture sector (30 Water User Associations and their members, farmers’ organizations,

Final beneficiaries are

  • "Agricultural enterprises operating in the agricultural sector, employees and their families"
  • Farmers and their families engaged in agriculture in Adana
Project partners and local authorities Project partners together with local authorities after the first workshop

Human resources involved in the project included 6 scientific staff from Adana TAYEM, 1 from Adana Provincial Directorate of Food, Agriculture and Livestock and 1 from South Yüreğir Irrigiation Association (GYSB).

The staff involved in the project have important experience on project subject and extension.
6 of them highly specialized in agricultural irrigation and mechanization, 1 is expert on agricultural enterprises and agricultural extension, 1 is expert on farmers' organization, irrigation and extension.

Dr. Fatih BARUTÇU: Project Coordinator, Mechanization and Irrigation expert

Dr. Ahmet UYAN: Irrigation and mechanization expert

Ramazan BÜLBÜL: Extensionist, Irrigation expert

Emin TEPELİ: Irrigation expert ,extensionist

Hüseyin SARITAŞ: Irrigation expert, extensionist

Mustafa ÇINAR: Agronomist and Irrigation expert

Birsen ERGÜN: Agr. Engineer, expert on agricultural enterprises and agricultural extension

Yunus BÜLBÜL: Agr. Engineer, Manager of GYSB, Irrigation expert

Project implemantation flowchart Shematic view of the project implementation process

The project had some small obstacles but the big one during the farmer surveys was the difficulties to obtain information for the questionaire from farmers. Farmers did not want to give too much information on their farming system. In order to overcome this obstacle, we have received the assistance of district offices and water user associations.

Secondly, it was difficult to access official data/information. In order to overcome this obstacle, we have received the support of local authorities in some cases.

Farmer interview Farmer interview in order to overcome obstacles during the questionaire
Farmer surveys Survey with a farmer in a village. Some difficulties has been occured during the farmer questionaire..
visits to institutions Project experts visiting the stakeholder institution for sharing opinions

The initial focus of the Initiative will be on three particular issues:

• to determine problems,

• to find ways to avoid them, and

• to enhance positive effects.

The most significant beneficial environmental impact associated with the project is water saving. Irrigated agriculture is crucial to the economy, health and welfare of the developing world. It is too important to be marginalized as it is vital for world food security. However, irrigated agriculture is a major consumer of freshwater. Irrigation development thus has a major impact on the environment.
In case of the realization of the project with the proposed approach, minimum of 30% water saving will be achieved. Thus, water, environment and food security will be quarenteed. In addition, 4470 individual pumps will not be used and energy used by these pumps will be saved.

Damaged infrastructure when reviewing the irrigation infratructure: damaged infrastructure that cause inefficiencies in irrigation- 96.8% of the of the ​​irrigation areas in Adana has been planned in open channel system.
Damaged infrastructure in Çukurova plain irrigation efficiency is only 43% because of water distribution losses (evaporation losses, infiltration losses from the channels, losses from the broken channels...)

In the workshops and in interviews with stakeholders, 50% of the irrigation problems in Adana has been associated directly or indirectly with the open channel irrigation system. Therefore, transformation of the existing irrigation systems into pressurized irrigation systems is very important in terms of environment and food safety. The project initiative has created a very big agenda/public opinion on this issue. Agriculture Minister Mr. Mehdi EKER when it came to Adana and visit our organization stated that he was following the issue in person. 19 water user associations have signed an official letter to show and give financial support for transformation of the irrigation system. In addition, local authorities also signed this letter. On the other hand, the results of the project obtained are being reference for the other workshops and project initiatives.

Minister's support Minister of Food, Agriculture and Livestock, Dr. Mehdi EKER when he came to Adana and visit our Institute Adana TAYEM, stated that Çukurova should transfer existing irrigation system into closed pressurized irrigiation system and he was following the project results in person. You can see the news about this subject in photo published in national and local media.
Official letter of support 19 irrigation association (WUA) signed an official letter to show their support for the project
harvesting water Water harvesting that is one of the strategic results of project was initiated in Adana by Adana Provincial Directorate of Food, Agriculture and Livestock.
media The Project has created a big agenda. Many articles on the subject appeared in the national media

Project results were made available as online in Turkish for all stakeholders and scientific community (http://www.cka.org.tr/dosyalar/tarimsal_sulama_rapor.pdf),(http://egitim.tarim.gov.tr/adana/Belgeler/BELGELER/tarimsal_sulama_rapor.pdf)  . In addition, The printed version of the results was sent to all stakeholders, policy makers and decision-makers institutions.

On the other hand, some presentations were made in some seminars and workshops to extend the project results.

Lastly, local and national media was used actively in order to increase the awareness.


Disemination seminar Project coordinator (Dr. Fatih BARUTÇU) gave a seminar on efficient water use in Adana agriculture and explained the project results
Dissemination activity Project coordinator Dr. Fatih BARUTÇU participated in 3rd Istanbul International Water Forum and gave a seminar to disseminate the results of the project in national level.
Panel Mr. Emin TEPELİ from the Project team participated in panel to disseminate and discuss the project results.
../file-system/small/pdf ../file-system/small/pdf The Project book Project results converted into a strategic document was published in printed version (73 pages)